This Boss' Response To A Mom Pumping Should Be In Every HR Manual

by Valerie Williams
Image via Reddit

This boss could teach a master class in how to respond to an employee’s request to pump during work

Going back to work after having a baby is hard. A new mom is tasked with keeping up with her job while probably not sleeping much at night, missing her baby all day long, and if she’s nursing, trying to work pumping milk into her regular schedule.

But one thing that makes all the difference to a working mom in need of pumping time? A supportive manager.

That’s why a Reddit post about a boss who handled an employee’s request to pump on the job is, well, pretty damn boss. The response is what any pumping mom would hope for — and should be the gold standard for all managers handling a new mom’s return to work:

The post, shared on the subreddit r/breastfeeding, is titled “Emailed my manager about my return to work and plan to pump; this was his response!”

His reply to her plan? “Yes, whatever you need to do to be successful here, I am supportive. I think it would be helpful to block your calendar for the times that you will be unavailable as I (or others) may inadvertently schedule something over these times. And nothing here is so crucial that you should not take care of yourself so please let me know if there’s anything else that we need to discuss.”


All too often, moms hear about or experience the exact opposite of this amazing manager’s reply. At my last office job, thankfully, my kids were old enough that I didn’t have to try pumping at work. But it wasn’t lost on me that every woman I witnessed returning from a maternity leave didn’t even bother trying to pump on the job. The environment wasn’t remotely welcoming to women in need of pump breaks and they all seemed too nervous to even broach the subject with their managers.

Which, ick.

While laudable, we need to point out that this manager’s support of his pumping employee should be the norm everywhere. It shouldn’t be so unheard of that people get excited over it on Reddit. Happily, there were some great stories in the comments that echo the kind of support the original poster received, which is great to hear:

It really bears repeating that this kind of support can make all the difference when it comes to a new mom’s nursing success:

Overall, however, America sucks at supporting expecting and new moms at work (and in general) — and some comments reflected that fact.

The sad reality is that some moms end up pumping in a bathroom stall due to lack of a dedicated pumping space. Some go out to their cars. Some don’t pump at all because they’re not given coverage or they worry about the time missed and how it could effect their standing in the office. None of that’s acceptable. Nursing moms need all the support they can get, but particularly when they head back to work. As this post and its replies prove, it can make all the difference.